Houston has won five of their last six

Javier impresses again, Astros shutout Mariners for another win

Astros' Cristian Javier
Cristian Javier continues to impress in 2021. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Cristian Javier continues to impress in 2021.

After starting this four-game series with a win in the opener Monday night, the Astros tried to continue their recent momentum to take game two on Tuesday night with Cristian Javier on the mound and their full-powered lineup back intact. They would get a great start from Javier and enough offense to back him up, resulting in the win.

Final Score: Astros 2, Mariners 0

Astros' Record: 12-11, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (3-0)

Losing Pitcher: Marco Gonzales (1-3)

Javier impresses again

Cristian Javier once again impressed on the mound, similar to his last start, but this time going deeper into the game. He would allow just two hits, a single in the top of the first and double in the fourth, along with three walks, otherwise holding the Mariners at bay and off the board for seven complete innings, earning him a quality start. His final line: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 107 P.

Houston gets their fifth win in six games

That would put Javier in line for the win, thanks to his offense getting a couple of runs in the bottom of the fourth. After being held without a hit to that point, Michael Brantley led off with a single, moved to third on a double by Alex Bregman, then scored on a sac fly by Yordan Alvarez. Bregman would later score on an RBI infield single by Kyle tucker, giving Houston the 2-0 lead they would hold through Javier's start.

Brooks Raley would take over in the top of the eighth, posting a 1-2-3 inning with a couple of strikeouts to maintain the two-run lead. Still 2-0 in the top of the ninth, Ryan Pressly would come in to attempt his third save of the season. He would convert it, improving Houston to 5-1 over their last six and giving them a chance to lock up a series win on Wednesday.

Up Next: Game three of this series will be another 7:10 PM start on Wednesday. Zack Greinke (2-1, 2.76 ERA) will try to get his third win of the season for the Astros, going opposite of Justin Dunn (1-0, 3.68 ERA) for the Mariners.

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Welcome back, Justin! Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will make his season debut Friday night at the Washington Nationals.

Houston manager Joe Espada made the announcement Wednesday.

“Getting him back is huge because it brings a level of confidence to our team, a boost of confidence that we’re going to get someone who’s been an MVP, a Cy Young (winner) on the mound,” Espada said. “It's (good) for the morale and to get stuff started and moving in the right direction.”

The three-time Cy Young Award winner opened the season on the injured list with inflammation in his right shoulder. He made two rehabilitation starts, the first for Triple-A Sugar Land on April 7 before Saturday’s start for Double-A Corpus Christi.

Espada wouldn't say how many pitches the 41-year-old would be limited to but said they'll keep an eye on his workload.

“We've got to be careful how hard we push him early,” Espada said. “I know he’s going to want to go and stay out there and give us an opportunity to win, but we've got to be cautious of how hard we push him early in the season.”

Verlander wasn’t thrilled with the results in his rehabilitation starts, but he said Monday that those games were valuable in getting him prepared to come off the IL.

He allowed seven hits and six runs — five earned — in four innings against Frisco on Saturday. He struck out three, walked one and threw 51 of 77 pitches for strikes.

Verlander allowed six earned runs and struck out six while pitching into the fourth inning for Sugar Land on April 7.

The Astros have gotten off to a tough start with Verlander and fellow starters Framber Valdez and José Urquidy on the injured list. They enter Wednesday's games last in the AL West with a 6-13 record.

Espada hopes Verlander can be the boost the team needs to get on track.

“It’s good to get him back in the rotation,” Espada said. “With what he means to this club just to get him back on track, getting some innings from him (to) build our rotation with the pieces that we need to move forward is exciting.”

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